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#51 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 01:27 PM

mya23rd,

WOW.... I feel for ya. You should call customer retention and give them the low down. Between this and other forums I've read there are alot of people that seem to call and and bitch about small things until they get something for free. But you certainly have legitimate complaints. DTV will probably offer some free programming and credits on your account if it helps ease the pain.

I've been w/ DTV for 10 years. Granted the customer service piece can be frustrating, FWIW, they're friendly and all of my experiences have been O.K. A little frustrating, but again no complaints.

When I scheduled my install they said it was MASTEC as well. From what I can tell they then sub cointracted with a company from Winchester VA. called Advanced Technologies. My install has not occurred yet (1-12-06). I have spoke with them a number of times to make sure they bring the new 6x8 switch I need.

I don't need any cable run and my pole is already in the ground. It should be straight forward. We shall see. I've installed all cable and several dishes between the two homes I have lived in. I'm only allowing DTV to do it because I'm getting it done for "free". If it wasn't for free I assure you I would have bought the equipment and done it myself. Yea, it's a little more involved but that's what makes it fun.

Good luck.
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#52 OFFLINE   WMSDSS

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 08:13 PM

Advanced Tech did my phaseIII install couple years back from Winchester Va., they were good. You should not have any problems. I thought they were going to do my 5lnb install 12/22/05 but the other installer (1) SATUSA was just fine. I changed out the multiswitch that he brought 6x8 zinwell. He did mention that most techs were afraid of this install. Less than an hour on my roof.

#53 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 09:08 PM

Mastec spent 40 hours at my condo trying to get the 119 satellite. They finally told me I was at the one location in the US that received a signal from the 110 and 119 at the same spot so the signals would override each other(they said something similar to this, I can't remember exactly since it was so stupid). I finally got to the point where I did it myself. The problem was a building was in the way. A 3 story building only 50 feet away. I mentioned it to them before but they wouldn't listen. I figured they knew what they were doing. I moved the dish 2 to 3 feet and solved my problem.
If they would have just had a dish on a pole that you could move around they could have easily figured out definitively where you can get a signal. I bought a round dish for $20 and did this myself. In just a couple of minutes I was able to get a signal from all 3 locations(I still had to dig up the concrete and put new concrete in the new hole). They spent almost 40 hours and couldn't achieve that, and that was with 2 supervisors spending time trying to figure it out. It still makes my blood boil when I think about all the time I wasted on the phone and being home for them to impersonate Laurel and Hardy. And it has been almost 4 years since the debacle.
That's why I will think about leaving DirecTv if they make me get a visit from MAstec again. If they don't give me a choice I will seriously think about leaving. I saw the install videos for the new dish. it is very involved. I really think it would be impossible for a Mastec employee to perform the install. The techs that came out to my place never even had a signal meter. Not that it stopped me from getting proper signal in a few minutes, but the MAstec people certainly couldn't after 40 hours of trying and because a 3 story building is in the way? I can't believe they are even still in business.


Isn’t it absolutely astonishing how bad their installers are. I can’t believe they just didn’t move the dish a few feet, I mean that is just basic stuff. They will basically hire anyone to do installs and I don’t think they even have a screening process. As I mentioned in my earlier post, the person finally got my dish working was a non Mastec guy, there people couldn’t even do it. This tech was great and I couldn’t understand why they didn’t hire more guys like him. In my presence he actually called the office and spoke to a supervisor. I overheard him saying “How can you run your business like this, and treat your customers like this?” He went on sort of lecturing the supervisor on his poor level of service. After that we got to talking and he mentioned that its really DTV’s fault, which I absolutely agree with. He entioned how there was very little competition for installers and these people are assigned for this area. They don’t care if customers are happy or not, they still get paid. He said that DTV makes it almost impossible for good new and much better installers to start doing installs. He mentioned that they have all these ridiculous requirements that make it very difficult.

Honestly, at first I was thinking about giving them just one shot, just one shot to get it right and if they gave me any trouble I would close my account. But now I don’t think I want to do that because it is almost certain that they will mess it up and it will just be a big headache. I mean I have seen what is required for the new dish and there is no way their installers can do it. They can hardly install the normal dish. I mean I have no love for Comcast, but there are very few issues with installation. Granted it is much easier to just run wire inside a a home and plug in some boxes, but their techs and overall installation process is far better. I can call Comcast today and have them come cnnect it the next day.

I don’t know if DTV will guarantee another company for the installation. I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave you some bs and said they assign a different company when in fact you would just be getting the same people. This whole thin is so frustrating.

#54 OFFLINE   aaronwt

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 12:03 AM

I've had issues with Comcast installers also. Not as bad as Mastec but still bad enough that I don't want them touching my wiring anymore. The last time they did I had to reterminate all the connections the Comcast tech messed with to get my signal back to what it should be. And I've talked to several people that had Comcast hook them up for HD only to find out later that the Comcast tech only hooked up a composite cable or hooked up component when they should have used HDMI or only sent 480P instead of 720P or 1080i. I think it's a crap shoot, but again I've never seen anything as bad as Mastec. It's been 4 years and I still get extremely pissed when I think about it.
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#55 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 04:32 AM

I've had issues with Comcast installers also. Not as bad as Mastec but still bad enough that I don't want them touching my wiring anymore. The last time they did I had to reterminate all the connections the Comcast tech messed with to get my signal back to what it should be. And I've talked to several people that had Comcast hook them up for HD only to find out later that the Comcast tech only hooked up a composite cable or hooked up component when they should have used HDMI or only sent 480P instead of 720P or 1080i. I think it's a crap shoot, but again I've never seen anything as bad as Mastec. It's been 4 years and I still get extremely pissed when I think about it.


Yeah the Comcast techs are not that great either. I have dealt with them quite a bit as well and they are pretty incompetent. But they are no where near as bad as Mastec. Comcast techs usually show up within the window which is not the case for Mastec techs. The Comcast techs are very local whereas the Sat techs can be very far away. The Comcast techs hardly ever do the job right especially when it comes to wiring. You have to really watch them when they are wiring because they will take shortcuts and do a pretty crappy wiring job. The most frustrating thing with Comcast techs is how likely they are to not try to improve on poor picture quality. I remember when I first got Comcast how many times it took me to get a tech out to my home who would really try to improve picture quality. Some of my channels looked so bad they were just unwatchable and they would say something like “Oh no one gets good PQ on this channel or there’s nothing you can do about it” When I would press them they would just unscrew and screw in the coaxial or make sure the connections to the splitter are tight. As if I couldn’t do that. It finally took a non Comcast tech to come out, reduce the number of splitters, put in better ones, redo some of the wiring and my pq improved by about 30 or 40 percent. It wasn’t perfect but it was dramatically better and it took a non Comcast tech to get it all fixed.

Comcast really needs to do something about this issue, poor picture quality. I mean come on if they are gonna charge as much as they do then get it right. Isn’t clear pq supposed to be an advantage over an OTA. I really thought that poor pq was just around my area but apparently many customers of different cable companys have this issue. I understand that may of the cables are moving to all digital but it’s fairly limited and only available in some markets. Poor PQ is probably the main reason I am staying away from cable. Right now I have DirecTV and love the service and love my Tivo and I never thought I would give it up. But as I am trying to move to HD, DTV is just asking for too much to upgrade and cable’s no up front cost is very attractie right now. I would give up my DTV, Tivo, and all that if I could just get a decent picture on cable.

#56 OFFLINE   redskin9

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 07:17 AM

Once he arrived we decided to re-scedule for 1/11/05. Then i got a phone call Thursday saying they had an opening for today (12-31) between 1-5.

Yea, my boy got there butts kicked without a doubt. It's going to be an interesting final weekend of football. Hopefully Lavar screwed you guys up. LOL........



Hope that they showed up as planned. From reading other posts I'm getting concerned about my scheduled upgrade on 1/7. Maybe I was just lucky the first time when I had my system installed and got a very competent tech.I've got a friend who was scheduled for his upgrade on 1/2. He called the week before to make sure everything was still go and found out that his date had been cancelled on 12/28.When he pressed them it was explained as "a computer glitch". They rescheduled him for 1/3 between 8 to 12 which he may or may not be there due to a bussiness obligation which will keep him from getting home before 9:30 am but he is taking the chance they will slide him to the later end(talked to the tech directly).

As far as your mounting method with the extended pole I think that you will have trouble with swaying under wind load unless it is guide wired to prevent this.There are issues with a standard pole mount if it is not set securely. Also raising or lowering will affect the precise alignment required.Good luck and keep all of us informed.

HAIL SKINS !!!! Off to the playoffs for the 1st time since 1999 !!!!

#57 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 08:34 PM

Hope that they showed up as planned. From reading other posts I'm getting concerned about my scheduled upgrade on 1/7. Maybe I was just lucky the first time when I had my system installed and got a very competent tech.I've got a friend who was scheduled for his upgrade on 1/2. He called the week before to make sure everything was still go and found out that his date had been cancelled on 12/28.When he pressed them it was explained as "a computer glitch". They rescheduled him for 1/3 between 8 to 12 which he may or may not be there due to a bussiness obligation which will keep him from getting home before 9:30 am but he is taking the chance they will slide him to the later end(talked to the tech directly).

As far as your mounting method with the extended pole I think that you will have trouble with swaying under wind load unless it is guide wired to prevent this.There are issues with a standard pole mount if it is not set securely. Also raising or lowering will affect the precise alignment required.Good luck and keep all of us informed.

HAIL SKINS !!!! Off to the playoffs for the 1st time since 1999 !!!!


They didn't show up. I called aroung 9:00 Sat A.M. to check and was told the truck didn't show up w/ the dishes (Fri. the 30th). So my appointment was for the 11th, they call w/ a cancellation and schedule me for the 31st. Now I get bumped back to the 13th as the next available date. When i had them on the phone and of course (politley) said I'm getting screwed out 2 days. I called Monday and they said the truck did show up in the A.M. but no earlier open dates. I started on the 11th, within 1 day, I lost 2. They said he would really "try to squeeze me in sooner." If this wasn't so comical, I'd probably be pissed.

If you folks are wondering why I'm not bursting a vain over this it's because I already have a 3-lnb and an hr10-250 w/HD package and I get local HD w/ Cox cable. It was cheaper to get basic cable and internet than just the internet. Also, my upgrade is free.

My telescoping pole idea. Yea, it sounds stupid, but this pipe I'm using is not your standard flimsy(spelling?)conduit type pipe. It's much thicker than that(it's fire sprinkler pipe). I'll post pictures. It's a pretty tight fit. You know how you have an idea and you just don't know if it's going to work unitl you try it out. Well, this is it. If i need any type of wire rigging, it won't work and I won't do it. Also picture your standard house, now put a 15x8 front porch on it. The location is tucked close to the corner where the porch meets the house. It should be well protected Again, I'll post pictures this week. I am prepared though. I have a bag of concrete and your standard 2" pipe lying right there and waiting if it doesn't work out. It should. I only need the dish mounted, pointed, and the H20 activated, no cabling. I just wanted the damn thing mounted. I couldn't convince the 1st guy that came out to leave the base of the dish behind so I could mess with it.

I'd buy the dish myself, but I refuse to do that after just installing the 3-LNB, hr10-250 and 5x8 switch myself this past 02/05.
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#58 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 05:56 PM

As far as your mounting method with the extended pole I think that you will have trouble with swaying under wind load unless it is guide wired to prevent this.There are issues with a standard pole mount if it is not set securely. Also raising or lowering will affect the precise alignment required.Good luck and keep all of us informed.


Forgot to mention in an earlier post. I'm only looking to raise this maybe 2-3 feet over the next few years. I'm just trying to give myself a little bit of wiggle room as my neighbors trees accross the street grow (thery gave me a liitle bit of heartbutrn this past spring-leaves). When it's at it's hightest point it's only about six feet high. I'm hoping to start out at about 4 feet. My wife has been very good over the years about "playing with all these toys" as she calls it. So I'm hoping to have the dish sit behind some bushes about four feet high. Real discrete. And over the next several years slowly raise as needed without t being terribly noticed. Outside of that, up on the roof it goes. I just really don't want to do that. Not to sound special or anything like that, but I installed the 3-LNB with relatively no problems, as far as pointing and locking in a strong signal. Again, neigbors trees gave me more problems than the dish itself. I know the 5-LNB is more involved of course. I'll mark the scratch reference points before I raise it. Pushcomes to shove, I'll just spend the 120.00 on the signal meter and be done with it.:D Beside, it's not rocket science. Well, maybe getting the satellite up is.:)

Like I said in the earlier post. This willeither work right out of the gate or it won't. I've already got second hole ready with a bag a concrete and standard 2' pipe on standby.

Here are a few pics. I'll take better, clearer, higher res pictures this weekend. I wasn't sure what the size limitation was for the site.

P.S. Please be gentle with any of you responses. :-)

Attached Thumbnails

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#59 OFFLINE   signal34

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 12:04 PM

Well, tomorrow's my D-Day with Mastec. Hopefully everything will go well. I called TWICE to make sure they had everything in stock and ready to install (ie 5 lnb dish and 6x8 multiswitch). They assured me everything was a go.

I'll post my install experience with them and some photos as soon as I can. Hopefully mine won't be a horror story like some of the other Mastec installs. My shotgun and rocking chair are polished just in case, though! :D

#60 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 08:26 PM

Yeah, I go my installed moved up a whole four days. From the 13th to the 9th.:P
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#61 OFFLINE   signal34

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 07:37 PM

Well, I had my install with Mastec and I have to admit...it went great. The tech (Jorge) arrived at about 1:45. I met him at his work van to ensure he had everything (dish, 6x8) which he did. He said that I was his seventh install today, third 5-lnb. He admitted he didn't have the new signal meter (his boss only bought one and he shared it amongst the other techs) so I was a bit skeptical whether he could find a strong signal. But after reading this and so many other sites about the new installs, I asked him various questions (quizzed him) and he rattled the answers off without skipping a beat.

He shimmied up on the roof and had the dish installed in 30 minutes. I took the time to help him out by installing the new 6x8 and receiver. We would have been up and running withing the hour, but I accidentally hooked up the OTA cable in the SAT IN, and vice versa. :sure: Once we figured that out (after changing multiswitches and LNBs) he had an 85-90 signal on all sats...remember, that's WITHOUT the signal meter.

The last hassle was D* was having problems adding the new receiver, so that took another 25-30 minutes. If it weren't for the cable mishap and the problem adding the receiver, I would have to say the whole install would have been 1 hour.

The only question I have: He said I don't need the monopole installed on the roof since the dish was installed in a stud. Should I call back and have someone install it? I hadn't seen anything definitive on whether it should be installed or not.

____________________

This receiver is great. My wife was not thrilled with having to go through the hassle of new equipment, but even she said "Wow...the picture looks ten times better." The pq is awesome, I now get over 25 OTA channels (opposed to 7 with my HTL-HD) since its more sensitive, and I can put up with the slow guide. I don't use many of the advanced features so many of the quirks others have issues about aren't a problem for me.

The remote is another issue though. It's clunky, bottom heavy, the buttons aren't laid out well, and I can't believe its not backlit! I'll have to look for another solution.

____________________

So to sum up, my install with Mastec was great, the receiver is definitely worth it (everything was free anyway), and if someone would be kind enough to answer the monopole question, I'd appreciate any comments.


PS -- no photos like promised since there's nothing spectacular about the roof mount.

#62 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 07:43 PM

Congratulations.
Kind of funny about the signal meter, aren't those things only about 120.00
Supposedly, if it's mounted properly with the right lag bolts it's supposed to be sufficient. However, I have never roof mounted any of my dishes, so my opinions on that are pretty much useless.

Get a Harmony 880 remote, they're pretty slick. Expensive, but IMHO worth it.
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#63 OFFLINE   WMSDSS

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 08:19 PM

I have roof mount without mono pole. No problems forseen as existing install was roof mount. Neighbor has roof mount also!!

#64 OFFLINE   dsanbo

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 01:22 PM

Signal34......
My AT9 was installed without the monopoles; they had been ordered, but didn't arrive until 2 days after the install.....The installers said they used 6 carriage bolts directly into a 2X6 stud, and that should be sufficient. They DID say if I felt more comfortable, they'd come back and put the monopoles in (for a nominal fee, of course....;) )

#65 OFFLINE   signal34

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:26 PM

Thanks for all the replies. :D I'll mull it over a little bit and see which side the coin drops for both the monopoles and the remote.

#66 OFFLINE   hamltnh

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 01:55 PM

I had my new 5 LNB dish installed a week ago today. The tech. recommended a mononpole, so I agreed. He dug a hole 3ft deep and set the pole with 1 bag of concrete--I suggested 2 bags, but he declined and said 1 was enough. For the next several days the wind blew and the dish moved around a bit. Called the tech. back and he said it would firm up in a few days when the concrete set. Waited a couple of more days and things were still moving around, so I went to Home Depot, got some half-inch copper water pipe, a pipe collar, etc. and fasioned a couple of struts to attach to the house together together with the collar. Now I've got an installation that doesn't move!!

This is the 1st time I've had a DirecTV tech out to do anything--I've had service since the beginning and always did the antenna installation/pointing, cabling, etc. myself. If I could have installed this antenna myself without paying any $'s I would have. The tech I had was knowledgeable, but so overwhelmed with appts. that he just didn't have the time to do the job correctly. He didn't even bother to go through the precision alignment routine for the dish (as described in the antenna's instructions)--I asked him why not and he said "it's not necessary". He just hooked his meter up and did the rough Az, El, Tilt alignment and called it close enough.

The tech. said he was from NC and was called up to Northern VA. to handle the overflow with all the upgrades. He said in NC, it was against most of the local building codes to mount this new dish to the roof/wall--all the installs he's done down there have been monopoles. I asked him what he got paid for one of the 5 LNB installs and he said $27 each!!!--unbelievable.

Here's a couple of pics. of my pole mount after I added the extra support/bracing--comments?

P1070005.JPG

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#67 OFFLINE   redskin9

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 02:43 PM

Update to 1/7 install.:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

MASTEC showed up at 9:30 am. Subcontractor with van and ladder rack/ladder , no D* logo but not a rust bucket.
Proceeded to swap out dish after "eyeballing" for reception. Preassembled new 5 LNB dish at his van and attempted to install on existing pole mount that the 3 LNB had been on. Surprise !!! The new dish requires a larger diameter pole. The tech tried wrapping the pole with a couple of rounds of electrical tape to build it out , which I knew wouldn't and didn't work. Stand back and scratch his head.

Next attempt was to U-bolt a roof mount to the existing pole. Looked like this might work until he mounted the new dish to it. Pole visably swayed with light touch, let alone any wind. Pointed out to tech that this probably occured while he was trying to hammer the U-bolts over the pole to go thru the roof mount(they were a hair too small) and broke it free of the concrete it was set in (obviously not done well by E* installation before D* but ok for smaller dish). His solution was to try and stomp on ground to compact around the pole. Then tried to hammer a couple of rocks around base of pole to sturdy it. I pointed out that this was not going to work at all. His response was " new dish more heavy" ( this was the beginning of the trouble with communication between us). I pointed out that I had made multiple calls to Advanced Technologies and the MASTEC local dispatch to indicate that I had a pole mount and wanted the same for the upgrade so they could have material on hand when they arrived. Even pointed out that his work order indicated pole mount. "Yes" was his reply.

"Home Depot no have bigger pole" was the next thing out of his mouth. I got a tape measure and checked the required diameter and found it to be 2 inches. At this time I was beginning to steam. After going back and forth over this issue he agreed to "get pole and come back" , then began to reinstall my original 3 LNB back on the wobbly pole he had broken loose (meaning SEE YA !!!). This was when I lost it and told him there was no way in HELL he was leaving me like this, so I called MASTEC who informed me that I would have to speak to this techs supervisor to resolve any complaints I had. All during my call the tech was frantically talking to his super in Spanish (I have no idea what was said but got the general gist, and it appeared that he was going to pack up). The supers response to me was "new dish more heavy" and "need bigger pole". I can see why he was selected as management material.

I told the super to tell his tech to install the new dish on a nearby 4x4 fence post and activate the new H20 before he left, which was done. Tech throws meter on new dish and gets signal in a minute or so and locks everything down. Didn't look as complicated as what the instructional videos and everyones postings made it out to be.

Now comes the good part !!!!

Later that night I lost my local HD feeds around 9 :30 pm. No clue as to the cause but they came back on Sunday morning when I checked them out. Thought that maybe something to do with new rcvr and software upgrades. Then I lost them again around 7 pm Sunday night (maybe the H20 doesn't like nightime). Went thru diagnostics and discovered 0 signal levels on 103 Sat and many low (40-50) range on many other transponders on multiple SATS. Talk to tier 2 Tech support at D* and they tell what I suspect and that levels are way too low and will need to schedule a service call to align the dish properly. Scheduled for 1/11 am.

Contacted MASTEC this morning to tell my sad story and register complaints.
Informed them, that under no circumstances to send the same tech as last time. Also requested that they schedule me on the early (8 am) side of the time slot to minimize the time that I must now take off from work because of the quality job that was done on 1/7. I am told it will be done. We'll see , stay tuned.

#68 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:28 PM

Hey Redskin9, Sorry you had some problems.

I hate to say it but mine when alot smoother this afternoon.

Well, he was here about 45 minutes. While he set the dish up iI replaced the older 5x8 switch with the new 6x8and setup the H20. I already had the pole set-up as alot of you guys that have been following the thread knew.

I have a few more pics withbetter res and more light. I did take one this evening , at night, that I wanted to post because in the left hand side of the pic you'll see the old 3-LNB that is literally mounted to the porch's floor (w/base). On the right hand side you'll see the new. I haven't had a lot of time to look things over closely or finish dressing the cables (I'll do that this weekend). But what i noticed is the two dishes don't seem to be pointing or titled exactly the same way. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but there is some noticeable difference. I seem to have strong signals, so Ill just wait and see.

I posted a couple of other pics as well. One shows the bottom of the pole where I can remove the bolt and raise the whole dish as or when needed (Yea I know, gotta be careful). Another is just showing the trees across the street that gave me the idea of wanting to be able to rasie the dish if/when needed.

It's funny redskin9 mentioned black tape. If you notice in one of the pics I have attached, about a foot long, the "standard" 2" pipe on top of the 80 guage steel pipe. Well, the base wouldn't fit. He took it off and started to use black tape as well. I said hang on buddy, I had some real thin sheet metal that we wrapped around the top, then used a couple pieces of tape to keep it in place then put the base on.

All is well now. We'll see how it goes.

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#69 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 09:41 AM

Update to 1/7 install.:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

MASTEC showed up at 9:30 am. Subcontractor with van and ladder rack/ladder , no D* logo but not a rust bucket.
Proceeded to swap out dish after "eyeballing" for reception. Preassembled new 5 LNB dish at his van and attempted to install on existing pole mount that the 3 LNB had been on. Surprise !!! The new dish requires a larger diameter pole. The tech tried wrapping the pole with a couple of rounds of electrical tape to build it out , which I knew wouldn't and didn't work. Stand back and scratch his head.

Next attempt was to U-bolt a roof mount to the existing pole. Looked like this might work until he mounted the new dish to it. Pole visably swayed with light touch, let alone any wind. Pointed out to tech that this probably occured while he was trying to hammer the U-bolts over the pole to go thru the roof mount(they were a hair too small) and broke it free of the concrete it was set in (obviously not done well by E* installation before D* but ok for smaller dish). His solution was to try and stomp on ground to compact around the pole. Then tried to hammer a couple of rocks around base of pole to sturdy it. I pointed out that this was not going to work at all. His response was " new dish more heavy" ( this was the beginning of the trouble with communication between us). I pointed out that I had made multiple calls to Advanced Technologies and the MASTEC local dispatch to indicate that I had a pole mount and wanted the same for the upgrade so they could have material on hand when they arrived. Even pointed out that his work order indicated pole mount. "Yes" was his reply.

"Home Depot no have bigger pole" was the next thing out of his mouth. I got a tape measure and checked the required diameter and found it to be 2 inches. At this time I was beginning to steam. After going back and forth over this issue he agreed to "get pole and come back" , then began to reinstall my original 3 LNB back on the wobbly pole he had broken loose (meaning SEE YA !!!). This was when I lost it and told him there was no way in HELL he was leaving me like this, so I called MASTEC who informed me that I would have to speak to this techs supervisor to resolve any complaints I had. All during my call the tech was frantically talking to his super in Spanish (I have no idea what was said but got the general gist, and it appeared that he was going to pack up). The supers response to me was "new dish more heavy" and "need bigger pole". I can see why he was selected as management material.

I told the super to tell his tech to install the new dish on a nearby 4x4 fence post and activate the new H20 before he left, which was done. Tech throws meter on new dish and gets signal in a minute or so and locks everything down. Didn't look as complicated as what the instructional videos and everyones postings made it out to be.

Now comes the good part !!!!

Later that night I lost my local HD feeds around 9 :30 pm. No clue as to the cause but they came back on Sunday morning when I checked them out. Thought that maybe something to do with new rcvr and software upgrades. Then I lost them again around 7 pm Sunday night (maybe the H20 doesn't like nightime). Went thru diagnostics and discovered 0 signal levels on 103 Sat and many low (40-50) range on many other transponders on multiple SATS. Talk to tier 2 Tech support at D* and they tell what I suspect and that levels are way too low and will need to schedule a service call to align the dish properly. Scheduled for 1/11 am.

Contacted MASTEC this morning to tell my sad story and register complaints.
Informed them, that under no circumstances to send the same tech as last time. Also requested that they schedule me on the early (8 am) side of the time slot to minimize the time that I must now take off from work because of the quality job that was done on 1/7. I am told it will be done. We'll see , stay tuned.


Man I feel your pain and frustration. I feel so bad for you and I know how frustrated you must feel. Like many I have had very similar experiences with techs and have posted on the forum about my nightmarish experience. I can't believe how lousy the techs are and I honestly think it comes from the top down, as you mentioned in your post, the supervisors are pretty bad and this shows you how poorly they manage things. Honestly, I don't think there is anything that can be done about it, and you pretty much have to put up with it if you want DTV. Mastec surely is not gonna do anything about it, they have been like this for years and DirecTV isn't doing anything about it. I don't think enuf people compalin about it, once their service is finally working. I assume people must complain but maybe not enuf or maybe DTV just doens't give a crap.

It sucks that we live in area where installers are so horrible. I'm sure in other parts of the country people have much better experiences. I'm sure in our area there are a few good installers, but most of them are pretty bad. I think the only way to get a smooth installation is if the stars line up perfectly. Firstly, you have to have a fairly easy and straightforward installation, things have to go relatively smoothly, and most importantly you have a good installer who brings all proper equipment and is fully prepared. Thats alot of stuff that has to work out for you to have a smooth installation and in most instances none of these things are aligned. Most of the techs are just not properly trained, prepared, or even willing to do the job right. As has been noted in several other posts, they often look for a reason to just abandon the installation and have someone else do it. And now with the new 5 lnb dishes and more complicated installations, I think there are many soon to be pissed off clients.

I really want to stay with DTV but I am seriously considering leaving and going to cable. I know the installation is gonna be hell and i just don't want to ge thru with it. But I have to say you were very smart in paying attention to the tech because they will cut as many corners as possible and try to sneak away after doing a crappy installation. Then your stuck with calling up DTV, waiting on hold, rescheduling another appt, and sitting around all day only to go thru the annoying process again with another incompetent tech.

I hope things pick up for you and it all goes well, just remember to stay on them.

#70 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 12:48 PM

Here's a couple of pics. of my pole mount after I added the extra support/bracing--comments?


Interesting. Hopefully it will continue to work for you. My first thought was that it looked like your pole mount was 1-2 feet taller than alot of the other pics I've seen. Not being critical.:) I've got my own giration.

BTW. You need to remove your XMAS lights.
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#71 OFFLINE   hamltnh

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 09:43 PM

Don't know about the 1-2 ft. taller--if it was too much shorter then people walking by it would disrupt the signal. Seems to me that just about any pole type mount is going to have movement at the top of the pole unless it's braced or you use wires down to the ground. I was voting for the the wall mount (the old 3 LNB antenna is directly above mounted on the corner of the garage wall as was the predecessor 18" round version), but the tech. voted for the pole mount even though it was more work. I'm still going to go through the precision alignment routine even though the tech. claimed it wasn't necessary.

Hmm yes--X-Mas lights do need to come down soon--

#72 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 10:07 PM

Don't know about the 1-2 ft. taller--if it was too much shorter then people walking by it would disrupt the signal. Seems to me that just about any pole type mount is going to have movement at the top of the pole unless it's braced or you use wires down to the ground. I was voting for the the wall mount (the old 3 LNB antenna is directly above mounted on the corner of the garage wall as was the predecessor 18" round version), but the tech. voted for the pole mount even though it was more work. I'm still going to go through the precision alignment routine even though the tech. claimed it wasn't necessary.

Hmm yes--X-Mas lights do need to come down soon--


That's true about people possibly walking by. I thought about that too, I don't know if you saw my pics in the earlier posts, mine's only about four feet high. I was going more for keeping t "hidden" more than anything. My wife has been good about this, but it is noticeably bigger.

I've never wall mounted before. I think pole is better all the way around.
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#73 OFFLINE   redskin9

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:30 AM

update to service call 1/11/06.

Rcvd call from MASTEC tech at 8:20 saying he was on the way and would be here in 20 min. Showed up 8:35 am (good start). Inquired about what trouble was I experiencing and explained all to him (at that time I had absolutely no signal on 103 sat transponders) including many signal levels in 40-50 on other sats but no noticable reception problems. He informed me that the highest signal level that I would see with the new H20 rcvr would be around 82 %. Said that he would get tools and align dish.

His procedure was to check signal on 101 sat transponder 1. He then went to dish and asked me to go inside so he could call on his cell and have me tell him when signal was 82 %??? He tweeked until signal fell there. When I was talking to him about the issues with D* and installations he informed me that he wasn't even properly trained in the new setup. Just had been told to do such and such,didn't even have a meter for alignment procedure. When finished I now have signals at 80-90 % for 103 sat and local HD feeds. Checked other sats and transponders and levels are as high as 93 % on a couple (there goes the 82 % theory). Couple are still on the lower side 60 % but no problems noted yet.

It's amazing that D* won't sell you all the equipment and allow a self install, but will allow the companies providing their installation support to send guys out not trained and without test equipment. I have been told by them that it is to insure that the system is installed properly and eliminate the need to send someone out afterwards. Would it be so bad to have the subscriber sign a waiver and let him do it himself ? I could have done all this on my own and will in the future when I put in a new pole and relocate the dish in the spring.

I had similar issues with E* that caused me to switch to D* I thought that it was all VIA Satellite(E* contractor) but now see it is an across the board problem. If you want to have something done right you have to do it yourself. Hopefully I won't have to depend on MASTEC ever again. I've got my fingers crossed.

#74 OFFLINE   hamltnh

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:45 AM

update to service call 1/11/06.

Rcvd call from MASTEC tech at 8:20 saying he was on the way and would be here in 20 min. Showed up 8:35 am (good start). Inquired about what trouble was I experiencing and explained all to him (at that time I had absolutely no signal on 103 sat transponders) including many signal levels in 40-50 on other sats but no noticable reception problems. He informed me that the highest signal level that I would see with the new H20 rcvr would be around 82 %. Said that he would get tools and align dish.

His procedure was to check signal on 101 sat transponder 1. He then went to dish and asked me to go inside so he could call on his cell and have me tell him when signal was 82 %??? He tweeked until signal fell there. When I was talking to him about the issues with D* and installations he informed me that he wasn't even properly trained in the new setup. Just had been told to do such and such,didn't even have a meter for alignment procedure. When finished I now have signals at 80-90 % for 103 sat and local HD feeds. Checked other sats and transponders and levels are as high as 93 % on a couple (there goes the 82 % theory). Couple are still on the lower side 60 % but no problems noted yet.

It's amazing that D* won't sell you all the equipment and allow a self install, but will allow the companies providing their installation support to send guys out not trained and without test equipment


Same experience that I had--tech. had a meter in my case, but didn't bother with the precision alignment settings on the dish at all. Given these experineces, I see no reason why this dish is not a "self-install". I have the installation instructions for the dish and it clearly says "Use of a DirecTV receiver as a signal meter for antenna alignment is not an acceptable method for peaking the antenna."

#75 OFFLINE   dsanbo

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 12:29 PM

It's my opinion that ANY installation outfit - small OR large -worth its salt should have at LEAST the minimum basic tools necessary to satisfactorily - and PROFESSIONALLY - complete a job.....regardlesss of cost. Saying, (Well...I'm just a poor Ma&Pa op....cant afford_________...." doesn't cut it!!! IF you're in business to make money and keep a solid customer base....you gotta expect to put some bling up front...or GET OUTTA the BIZ!!!!
In the case of AT9 installs....a $3500 spectrum analyzer is the IDEAL tool for the job. Yes, not everyone can afford to BUY one...but ANY reputable business SHOULD be able to successfully negotiate a lease/rental of such equipment....
Would a trucking company try to start in business without mechanic(s) with the proper tools to maintain the fleet.....???;)
(Exits soapbox, much to the pleasure of other forum participants.....)




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